Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mouret dress: Fitting number 1

So yesterday I had a fitting session of the Mouret inspired dress I'm making for my friend Carol. Drafting the first toile was a better process than I first imagined and this was all because of the great help I received from the great members of the sewing forum website who gave me so much advice and answered all my questions. A big thank you to you all!

Toile 1
I was really happy with the look of the first fit but there are still quite a few changes to be made.
Firstly I added too much width to the hips plus the ease which meant that the front, back and hip area were all too baggy and didn't fit as snug as I would have liked. This can be sorted out relatively easily by taking in that excess fabric.

I was extremely happy with how the neckline came out for the first fit. I was really worried that it would gape badly as these sorts of necklines are prone to doing so. We've decided to take it down a tad- about 2cm which will also mean taking in the bust darts slightly to remove the subsequent excess fabric and also take in the side area (at the shoulder) of the neckline too as there is a slight gap around that area.

Carol chose cap sleeves but I wasn't sure what length would fit her best so I made each sleeve a different length so we could see the effect. We both chose the shorter side (on the right) as it sat better.

The hem area is plain at the moment but we thought that perhaps we could include a thick hemline like galaxy dress in the image below and see whether it would look good and suit Carol height too. I'm aware that these horizontal lines can have a widening effect to the figure so I want to be careful! Does anyone else have a dress with a similar thick hemline? Does it only suit certain figures? I need to do some research and make up the second toile....

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret is one of my favourite fashion designers. His garments are truly beautiful. I love his experimental way of pattern cutting and draping his wear. He seems to do it with such simplicity and attention to detail. Using folds, darts and uneven lines he manages to produce exciting shapes and constructions which are flattering and remain wearable. (photos courtesy of

The galaxy dress style (pictured in the first image) is one of my favourites and i'm hoping to make up a dress for a good friend of mine in a similar style. The dress will be for her son's wedding later this year and i've drafted a pattern using her measurements and made the first toile! The photo below shows the toile without the cap sleeves sewn on. I can't wait for the first fitting! i'm hoping there won't be too many major changes to make.

I'll be posting about how this dress goes and asking for feedback too- I have a few months to complete it, but what with probably having a couple more fittings to do and sewing up for the winter collection there won't be much time!

Tilly's Cakes

I mentioned in my last post that my friend Sue has set up her own business from home making delicious cupcakes in an array of yummy flavours. I was asked if I could take some photos for her new website which is now up and running. Check out her wonderful cakes!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The rise of the cupcake

Mmmm I love cupcakes and I just had to blog about this one which my good friend Sue gave to me yesterday as a taster. Cupcakes are the new 'it' cake to have at a special event like a birthday or wedding. I've noticed quite a few new companies which focus on selling cupcakes like Lolas and The little Cupcake Company . My friend Sue has also set up a homemade cupcake business, and she's looking to supply the Huddersfield, West Yorkshire area. Her new website will be up and running soon.

All her cakes are brilliant and this taster she gave me tasted good indeed! It might look like a simple cupcake but actually it consisted of a yummy fruity surprise - a raspberry right in the centre of a lovely moist lemon syrup sponge and a quality butter cream topping. I'm hoping I'll get a few more tasters!

Monday, 6 September 2010


Wood is one of my favourite materials. It's incredibly versatile, strong and can be found in so many beautiful shades. It has also inspired me in part for the winter collection. One of my favourite Japanese stores (Billet) sells beautiful home and kitchenware. Here are a selection of a few of their items alongside some great wooden objects I've found for sale on a number of Etsy shops. Check them out!
Photos:1. Wooden buttons from ButtonsNmoreButtons, 2. Wooden bowl from Billet, 3. Birch buttons from Woods of Narnia , 4. Twine from Billet , 5. Pin cushion from Haleybyhand 6. Shopping bag from Billet , 7. Brooches from Happydoodleland 8. Twine from Billet , Hairbands from Billet

Rachel's Bridesmaid Dress

Last month a friend of mine was having serious difficulties finding a decent bridesmaid dress for her 13 year old daughter. You know the situation, either the bust fits and the hips don't, or the waist is great but the bust gapes. I think most of us experience some sort of problem when trying to buy a garment - be it a dress, trousers or a blouse. But I think teens even more so. They're in that transition stage where they don't want to look too young or girlie, but on the other hand they don't want to look too old. Also a lot of the bridesmaid dresses in the stores can be rather low at the front and this was also one of the problems my friend faced while shopping with her daughter.

So my friend Mary asked me (8 weeks before the wedding ahhh!!) if I could design and make a simple bridesmaid dress for her daughter. We worked together to come up with a simple A-line shaped dress with matching hair band. Rachel had two fittings (one of which was done over Skype, and the other was over the phone while Mary was in France!). This was quite a challenge but we managed to work through our distance issues with modern technology!

The skirt part of the dress was developed from the Libby skirt. It also has a thick band detail at the waist and a shallow sweetheart neck. The fabric is a brilliant jade stretch cotton sateen from C&H fabrics in Canterbury. Improvements: in hindsight I think I would have made the sweetheart shallower. I think a straighter neckline suits a dress that requires a higher neckline. But all in all i'm really happy with the dress and Rachel looks wonderful!
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